NFL’s 49ers hit by ransomware attack
The San Francisco 49ers said it was the victim of a ransomware attack, with the hackers claiming to have released some of the NFL team’s financial data online, the Associated Press reported.
The ransomware group BlackByte said reportedly released a file labeled “2020 Invoices” on the dark web, though it specify how much data it had stolen or encrypted, or what it wanted in return.
BlackByte is a ransomware-as-a-service group, meaning decentralized, independent operators cooperate to develop the malware and hack into organizations, per the AP.
In a statement, the 49ers, who were a game away from competing in the Super Bowl this year, confirmed the cyber-attack, saying that it has disrupted some of its corporate IT networks.
“To date, we have no indication that this incident involves systems outside of our corporate network, such as those connected to Levi’s Stadium operations or ticket holders,” the team said in its statement.
The 49ers said they have notified law enforcement officials and have hired a cybersecurity team to assist with its investigation, according to the AP.
The ransomware attack comes just days after the FBI and U.S. Secret Service has issued an alert on BlackByte ransomware attacks, saying the group has “compromised multiple US and foreign businesses, including entities in at least three US critical infrastructure sectors” in recent months.
Ransomware attackers have also targeted U.S.-based meat packing companies and a crucial pipeline operator in the last year.